Here is the inspirational story of Major League Baseball player Roberto Clemente—not Bob—who endured years of racism and discrimination to become one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
Roberto Clemente always loved baseball. Growing up in Carolina, Puerto Rico, he swung tree branches (since he didn’t have a bat) and hit tin cans. He was always batting, pitching, running, sliding. His dedication paid off when, at the age of 19, he was tapped for a major league team. First stop: chilly Montreal . . . where he warmed the bench and himself, longing to play baseball. Months later, he finally got his chance with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente had an instant impact on the field—hitting the ball and making it to first base and finally home. Many Pittsburgh fans loved his bold style on the field, but not everyone was quick to embrace a Black man from Puerto Rico who spoke español.
This nonfiction picture book by MLB.com journalist Nathalie Alonso and award-winning illustrator Rudy Gutierrez shows the emotional highs and lows of Roberto Clemente’s career as he fought racism—from fans, reporters, and other figures in the sport—to become one of the greatest baseball players of all time. With English and Spanish words intermingled in the text, this book will inspire young readers as they learn about Clemente’s contributions to Black, Latino, and American history.